Duquemin dreaming of 65m and extending Island Games record

Duquemin dreaming of 65m and extending Island Games record
Duquemin threw for Jersey at the 2022 Commonwealth Games - Birmingham 2022/Getty Images

Thrower Zane Duquemin has been hurling the discus for Jersey at athletics stadia around the world for more than a decade and a half. Now, in what he admits is likely the twilight of his career, he's still massively driven by records, medals and personal bests.

If logistics allow, the 31-year-old will proudly pull on a Jersey kit yet again this summer, for his fourth Island Games appearance, adding to his four Commonwealth Games outings for his home Island (Delhi 2010, Glasgow 2014, Gold Coast 2018, Birmingham 2022).

Once ranked GB number one in both discus and shot put simultaneously, he's currently based in Qatar, over 3,000 miles from home, but clearly with Jersey still very much in his heart.

"I've not done an Island Games for a long, long time," he told thegantry.je, having been named in the JEP recently has part of the athletics squad for 2023, eight years on from his last Island Games. He'll have particularly fond memories of that appearance, on home turf at FB Fields, when he set new Games records in the shot (18.10m) and the discus (57.23m) - neither of which have since been bettered at the event.

He said: "Representing Jersey is something that I don't take for granted. After the Commonwealth Games, the Island Games is the next biggest event at which I can do this, and coming towards the end of my career I don't know how many opportunities I'm going to have left to represent Jersey.

Zane Duquemin won discus and shot put gold with new Island Games records at Jersey 2015.

"It would have been crazy for me to turn it down. Hopefully I can find a way to make it to Guernsey, put in a good performance, and my expectations are to, at least, be top two. If I can break the Island Games record in the process that would be great."

When you speak to Zane, he comes across as a quiet, calm, reflective man - but fully focussed and driven by the job at hand. At the top of his list of sporting priorities, left on the list to tick off, is the long-held dream of breaching the 65m mark.

"The big ambition for me is to try to throw over 65 metres, that is the world class kind of barrier," he said. "I'm pretty close with my PB now being 63.76. It's always been a dream since I was a kid to try and throw 65 metres, and I'm hoping to make that happen - that's the big ambition now.

Zane Duquemin at Birmingham 2022
Zane Duquemin has represented Jersey at four Commonwealth Games - photo credit CGAJ

"I've been to most of the championships that I want to go to, except for maybe the Olympics that's still a dream of mine. I think realistically, on the right day and if I throw well with the right feeling and the right conditions, then 65 metres would be possible, and then I can probably retire a happy man."

Duquemin also has his eyes on the UK Championships in Manchester this summer, on 8 July, and then if the stars align that trip to Guernsey the following week.

He added: "Training has been going pretty well, with a few personal best training marks with different implements, which considering my body is hanging on hopefully shows that I'm on the right path technically. We'll keep trying to solidify that and groove that in over the coming months, and then we'll see how we go this summer."